Candid application form leads to granted O-licence

Commercial Motor
August 30, 2018

A skip hire boss who was sent to prison following a conviction for cultivation of cannabis has been granted an O-licence.

In a written decision following a public inquiry (PI) in Bristol, Kevin Rooney, traffic commissioner (TC) for the West of England, said he trusted the sole director of Lydney Skip Hire, John Joseph Riley to be compliant. The operator, based in Harbour Road, Lydney, Gloucestershire, submitted a restricted O-licence application in February seeking authorisation for four vehicles.

Riley, who is currently carrying out community work and on licence until 2023, declared a conviction for cultivation of cannabis for which he had been sentenced to 12 years in prison in September 2011. At the June PI, Riley told the TC that he had operated a 50-acre yard near London which had been rented out, including a storage container park which was leased from September 2010 until the date of his arrest.

Riley was fully aware that a tenant paying an enhanced rent was cultivating cannabis. After the court case, land owned by Riley near the A13 in Essex was sold at auction to help satisfy proceeds of crime orders arising from the conviction.

As part of his rehabilitation Riley moved to Lydney - away from the London area and his previous associates. He said that at his new business he has invested significantly in training and new equipment including 250 skips, using his own money and not linked to the convictions.

Transport consultant Graeme Robinson will help install and establish compliance systems and Riley said he will not employ anyone with any criminal conviction. TC Rooney said: “Riley has demonstrated that he has invested significantly in qualifications relevant to his waste-carrying business.

“I am entitled to infer from that a serious and conscientious approach to those statutory responsibilities and that is a significant positive feature relating to the protection of the environment. The applicant has also invested in transport consultant support to establish appropriate compliance management functions and has offered an audit.

"This is positive for both road safety and fair competition. Riley declared the conviction on the application form. I find that he has been candid throughout. As he said himself, he has not sought to hide behind a ‘front’. Indeed, he has done quite the opposite.”

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